Not everyone should use Stumbleupon.
For instance, if you're a blogger who doesn't really care about traffic, then you shouldn't use Stumbleupon.
Or if you're a business and don't care about free advertising, then you shouldn't use Stumbleupon.
Lastly, if you're someone with something to say but don't want anyone to listen, then you shouldn't use Stumbleupon.
But if you don't fit into any of those three categories, you should consider using Stumbleupon to find and share content online.
What is Stumbleupon?
Stumbleupon is two things, really:
- A social bookmarking site. Like Delicious, Instapaper, and Google Bookmarks, it allows you to save links to articles for later reference and share them. The “Stumble!” toolbar also allows you to randomly discover new articles, based on your interests.
- A social voting site. Similar to DIGG and Reddit, it allows you to vote for videos, blog posts, images, and articles you find on the Internet.
How to Use It
Using Stumbleupon is easy. Here's how to get started:
- Go to stumbleupon.com.
- Sign up for free and share your interests.
- Download the “Stumble!” toolbar for your web browser.
- Start stumbling!
Not only is it fun, but SU can also be a powerful marketing tool. There are a lot of tips for using Stumbleupon to promote your content; here are just a few I've distilled from the web:
- Don't just vote for yourself.
- Concentrate on quality.
- Make your avatar stand out.
- Write for above the scroll.
- Make friends with other Stumblers.
A Powerful Case Study
When I was editing an online magazine, hands down, the most-read article we ever published was a short, critical piece about a woman who stopped “playing church.” The article was a pointed piece about the pretentious attitudes of religious people, especially in so-called “sacred” buildings.
For months, the article hid in obscurity, collecting a couple of hundred page views. Then, after I had read some convincing reasons to use StumbleUpon to increase web traffic, I started going through our archived articles and adding them on StumbleUpon.
Shortly after that, our daily traffic increased ten-fold. Thousands of people a day were hitting the article, commenting on it, and a fascinating discussion emerged. Within less than a week of doing this, the article had received over 20,000 page views. And it's still going.
The culprit: StumbleUpon.
How Did It Happen?
I don't have a clue. It was random, unpredictable, and magnificent. I tried to replicate it again with another article and failed.
Nonetheless, I did some research and saw a trend — sites that utilize Stumbleupon and encourage their visitors to do the same see this kind of random, unpredictable, viral traffic on a much more frequent basis than those that don't.
Objections to Using Stumbleupon
There are some understandable objections to using Stumbleupon, among which is that the traffic is harder to convert. That's true.
You should take Stumbleupon traffic with a grain of salt, but don't completely discount it as worthless, either. I've seen how it can convert into long-time readers and advocates and help make your content go viral.
Reasons to Use It: Why Not?
You have something to share — something to say, a cause to promote, an idea to spread. Whether it's yours or someone else's, you have a message.
But you need a tool to share it.
Why not tap into the viral power of StumbleUpon, which has produced more fruit for me than DIGG, Delicious, and Reddit combined?
It's fun, free, and has a proven track record. Just use it wisely. Like anything social, if you focus on yourself, you'll be disappointed.
Recommended reading: Use Social Media Arbitrage to Drive Traffic with Stumbleupon
Do you use Stumbleupon? Why or why not?
*Photo credit: Bernard Goldbach